Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Steer escapes Sydney private school and goes on the run on city’s north shore

A steer has escaped from an enclosure at a private all-boys school in Sydney and has been on the run for more than 24 hours.

The one-year-old steer – a castrated bull calf – was brought to St Ignatius College Riverview in Sydney’s Lane Cove as part of the school’s agricultural education program.

But the animal broke through a fence at the school on Tuesday night and escaped.

On Thursday, the school said the steer was still at large, and was concerned about it “roaming in a highly urbanised area”. It was last sighted in Lane Cove, a spokeswoman said.

“The college has concerns regarding the welfare and safety of the animal as well as concerns for any potential injury that may be caused to any member of the local community which may be incurred due to the steer roaming in a highly urbanised area,” the school said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the school told Guardian Australia the agriculture program had been running for more than 20 years, and the school had a farm on-site.

“The college welcomes support from the local community in providing any information regarding the animal’s location so that we can safely collect and return him to the Riverview farm,” the school said.

New South Wales police confirmed they had received a report about the missing animal.

“It was reported yesterday that a cow was not in its place,” a spokeswoman told Guardian Australia.

The school said: “A 12-month-old black steer that recently arrived at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview, as part of the College’s Agricultural program, broke through one of the stock-proof fences late last night. The steer is currently missing and was last sighted in the Lane Cove area. We have alerted the appropriate authorities and are working to locate the steer for a safe return back to the farm.”

The north shore steer is the latest in a series of animal escapes in Sydney and other cities.

Earlier this month, two wild deer were spotted roaming through Leichhardt in Sydney’s inner west, and later in the inner city suburb of Pyrmont. Both subsequently had to be euthanised.

In February, three baboons, one of whom was being taken for a vasectomy, escaped from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred hospital.

The NSW health minister, Brad Hazzard, later said the 15-year-old male baboon who was getting the vasectomy was being accompanied by two younger female baboons to keep him calm. The male’s vasectomy was completed later.

In 2014, two water buffalo escaped from a film set in Newtown in Sydney’s inner west and chased pedestrians down King Street.

In April this year, a kangaroo hopped through the empty Adelaide CBD during the depths of the coronavirus lockdown, and in July, police captured a kangaroo that was bounding down the street in Florida in the US.

In 2017, a rogue camel escaped from a circus in Darwin and made its way to the golf course of the Royal Australian Air Force base. In 2016 a wild boar escaped into Hong Kong’s financial district – taking more than three hours to be caught.

More to come.

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